Joint pain not muscle: I was prescribed... - Cholesterol Support

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Joint pain not muscle


I was prescribed statins 5 weeks ago when my cholesterol level came back as 9.3.

After only 10 days I developed pain in my right knee. I've never had pain in the joint before and I woke up one morning unable to put any weight on the joint. I waited a week before going to the dr. She immediately sent me to hospital where I was informed I had arthritis in my knee. Over the next week the pains moved to other points in my legs - only my legs. It got so bad I was having great difficulty walking. I stopped taking the statins a week ago. I managed to go for a walk yesterday without limping. Don't get me wrong, I still have the original sore knee but the other aches have dissapated and the knee is much better.

I've been reading the information about statins but I haven't seen joint pain mentioned, only muscle pain. I don't know if I just developed arthritis as a normal aging process or if the statins are responsible. Has anyone else developed joint pain after starting statins?

37 Replies


Have a look at the report in this link:

Thank you for the information and taking the time to reply.

Hi, I am experiencing the same only in my ankle. I have been on alorvastatin for just over a month. I have a history of gout so though it was that. I too have trawled for info on joint pain with little success. I am going to see the gp today. I can't run which is what i was doing to help reduce my cholesterol 😣

Gout, did you GP do uric acid tests? any gout medication?

What was reason given for statin medication?

Life style change is a better way for lowering cholesterol (if necessary!) and healthy life.

My cholesterol was at 10.2 and I am fit and active. I have tried the regular meds for gout in the past and they made me swell up too. I have drastically changed my diet and usually take nsaids for rare gout flare ups. I am trying statins and there were no side effect for first month. More I read though less I like

Concerned in reply to luvin_life

This study confirmed high insulin levels and high uric acid levels are linked Avoid high-glycaemic foods and anomalies such as low-fat dairy or baked beans. Other offenders include too much protein (excess protein is converted to glucose plus ammonia and uric acid), fructose or alcohol.

sandybrown in reply to Concerned

This information is from an on line free course. My understanding on protein was different until I read this!

" When too much protein is consumed, the body will break it down and dispose of any excess as urea in the urine, which is why super high doses of supplemental protein and amino acids are a waste of your money, as protein synthesis is limited, and any excess will literally go down the toilet. On the other hand, protein deficiency is still a major health problem in the world where energy intake is limited. In general, populations in developing countries eat less total protein and more plant-based proteins than in developed countries."

Concerned in reply to sandybrown

The study above implies the uric acid is not simply disposed of in the urine, especially if insulin levels are raised.

The amount of overweight people is about the same as those that are underweight for the first time in human history. Basically, only if you're starving are you likely to be protein deficient. For the rest of us, limiting the amount of IGF-1 stimulation is a key to a long/healthy life.

From my experience of gout, blood test is necessary and medicine by GP prescription. When I first had swollen big toe, I was given antibiotics!

Only once in out side of UK, I had blood test for uric acid and given proper gout medicine and it cleared in three days, I am now days very careful on my food, tried and avoid gout related food and drinks. when you say you are trying statin, I take it, it is from GP's prescription?

It is yes. I had all gout tests before. Going for refreshed ones this motning. Just seen GP so that's my morning sorted

pryor147 in reply to luvin_life

Like wise, now cannot run due to statins go figure. I have continued to walk but if I do too much I am in agony for days. I have a history of running lots of marathons. Now cannot even run 1km.

Hi Aingealah.

I was put on 20mg of Simvastatin and developed excruciating pains in my hips and legs that kept me awake at night. Went back to the doctor who halved the dose to 10mg and the pain went away.

Thanks for your reply. My dr thinks my pains are not related to the statins. I don't believe that, especially having received messages telling me of joint pains in other statin takers. My pains still haven't gone completely, but they are better than they have been. I'm hoping to reduce my cholesterol with dietary changes.

The thing is it states in the side-effects list that comes with Statin's that joint pain is one of them. Which is why I returned to the doctor and he halved the dose.

Hi yes unfortunately I had NO joint pain anywhere in my body until I started STATINS, mentioned to the Dr who said its a arthritis no link to statins. Well im sorry I do not believe that, muscle pains all over quite severe at times, makes you feel like your all of a sudden allergic to exercise.

Aingealah in reply to pryor147

I was exactly the same. No pains and walked between 10,000 and 15,000 steps a day up to the statins. I'm not taking anymore statins and although I have only been off them a week, I am less sore. I'm hoping that is going to continue. Thanks for your reply. I was beginning to think the joint pain was only my problem.

Sparky3333 in reply to pryor147

Yep, I'm hearing ya!!!


Yes, I developed extreme pain in my left rotator cuff and shoulder after several months on statins. The pain and stiffness dissipated as I titrated down the statin dosage and eventually stopped altogether.

Your best prescription is a healthy diet and daily exercise - medications are band-aid solutions that create new problems due to side-effects.

If you have subtle knee inflammation even without the statins, chances are you had an injury when you were younger, or you're carrying too much weight.

To lose weight permanently you should not restrict calories, but instead change your lifestyle permanently.

Click on this link to learn about the Pritikin diet:

Arthritis is an inflammatory disease. Inflammation is caused by excess sugar and simple carbohydrates in your diet. High LDL cholesterol and heart disease is also inflammatory-initiated conditions.

By the way total cholesterol (TC) values are relatively meaningless without listing the components of TC such as LDL, HDL, non-HDL, and Triglycerides. If you're looking for peer advice, you must provide this information in your posts along with your height, weight, age and gender.

Exercise is a simple as walking - you must walk at a brisk pace for 30 - 60 minutes per day. You can break this up into 2-4 sessions if desired.

Exercise is not a luxury to be performed when you have time or are in the mood. It is as necessary to good health as drinking water.

Good luck.

Aingealah in reply to sos007

Thanks for the info. I've looked at the pritikin site, it looks really interesting and I'm going to try it out. I'm 63, female, 5ft 2 inches and weigh 9stone so I don't really need to lose weight but the health benefits of the diet look good.

This is interesting...i got the terrible statin pain in both legs and ankles (plus excruciating back ache) went off the statins, but now I have arthritis in my right thigh?

Which I didn't have this pain and stiffness before the statin pains came on....I've wondered if it was part of the dreaded statins:(

Aingealah in reply to Sparky3333

I'm becoming more and more sure that the statins are responsible for my pains. I came off them 9 days ago and although I am not back to pre statin status, I am able to walk again. I have no idea what is happening to my cholesterol levels but I am trying to reduce them by diet. Thanks for your reply

I suffer arthritic type pain in my hands especially but also in my feet since I started statins in Feb (10mg atorvastatin recently increased to 20mg) it's getting worse to the point of trying to lift a shampoo bottle this morning in the shower (albeit a big bottle) was agony! I also have recently noticed a sharp pain in my right calf over the last 2 days - alarming at first as not a pain I have experienced before even after strenuous exercise - maybe it's a type of cramp?! Generally though I feel achey and extremely tired! The doctors saying this is not related to statin use is nonsense!!!!!!

Aingealah in reply to lynsreid

Thanks for your reply. I was put on 20mg atorvastatin right from the start. I am trying to control my cholesterol by diet now. At the moment I have no idea if the diet idea will work. I just know I couldn't function with the pains. I have an appointment at the lipid clinic in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know if there has been any improvement.

lynsreid in reply to Aingealah

Please do keep us posted. I have been diagnosed with FH so I've been told diet will have no impact. I feel like I'm in a no win situation at the moment. Good luck with you journey!!!!!

sandybrown in reply to lynsreid

Human body produces 80 % of cholesterol on demand and 20% from what goes into our mouth. You need to ask the doctor why your body is demanding more cholesterol? and also a DNA test is necessary.

lynsreid in reply to sandybrown

sandybrown I have had a genetic test which has returned positive - the fault lies in a gene which affects my LDL levels. This is where my journey started, I have always had a fairly raised cholesterol (6.8) right from my late teens but never been too concerned as always been fit and healthy with fairly good eating habits - until this diagnosis, now I'm worried!

sandybrown in reply to lynsreid

A specialist from New Zealand used to reply to posts on Heart UK before it became cholesterol support. He used to talk about double digits total cholesterol numbers! My total cholesterol was high stating brought it down to 2.8 in two weeks and also side effect. I gave up statin, Both my wife's and my total cholesterol are over 6. We are not planning to go on statin, have accepted the high numbers.

One doctor once commented when he was in medical school total cholesterol number was 7.25, this is long before multimedia and statin.

Life style change, regular exercise is what we are doing and enjoying one life.

lynsreid in reply to sandybrown

I should say my LDL was 5.01 in the beginning- this is where the genetic mutation lies - statins have reduced that to 3.01 but because it wasn't below 2.5 they changed my dose from 10mg to 20mg. I had side effects on the lower dose

sandybrown in reply to lynsreid

Please take a look at this link:

Aingealah in reply to sandybrown

Good for you. That's what I'm doing too. We have to at least try and do this ourselves without the statins.

Aingealah in reply to sandybrown

Thanks. I'm waiting for the lipid clinic at the moment. I'll ask about the tests when I get there.

Aingealah in reply to lynsreid

Thank you

Sparky3333 in reply to lynsreid

Lynsreid, i had a sharp pin in my left calf for years whilst on statins, went for multiple tests and all came back clear. Within 3 days of stopping the statins it stopped, and has not come back . i hope you've drooped them.

Im not sure, but I believe there must be people with joint pain related to statins. Lucky for you, you discovered this early. Look further on this site, Im sure you will find someone that can steer you to some thing other statins to lower your cholesterol. Iv'e been on four different meds so far over the past 15 years, and my doctor just told me to stop my Lovastatin due to muscle pain my legs, arms and shoulders. I had weak leg muscles ago while taking Zocor and Tricor but no pain. Now my muscles are strong, but very painful. Btw, I take real hot baths a couple of times a day using Epsom salts. Great relief even if only temporary. I also only take one Hydrocordone pill daily. Trying not to get too used to the opiod. This along with some Tylonall helps. It's gonna be a long haul for me to correct that which I created over the years. Good luck to you.

Aingealah in reply to Ronzol

Thank you for your reply. I'm sorry you are in so much pain. I hope you will be able to correct your problems. I have had reply from people with joint pain so I'm more convinced than ever that the statins are to blame for my pains. I am trying a vegetarian diet to see if that helps with the cholesterol. Early days yet, however I am able to walk again without too much pain. I had got to the stage I was crawling up and down the stairs, I can walk now, so I am going the right direction in that at least.

Good luck

I had exactly the same symptoms. My right knee was swollen and I couldn't move my leg a quarter inch! Cost me money to have someone come and take care of me. My knee gave me this same problem, 3 times. Since stopping my statin torture my knee has been fine. There are many other negatives to taking statins. Please research this carefully. Statins are required by almost no one!!

Aingealah in reply to jimmy6p

Thank you for replying. I'm glad your pains have gone. Mine are getting better daily and I won't be taking statins again. I'm trying a change in diet and someone recommended plant sterols. Funny thing is, I wasn't aware anything was wrong with me before I was given the statins. Now I feel like a very old lady 🙁

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